During this talk Natasha Duell considers adolescent risk taking in various contexts, including culture, development, and social context. She will address questions such as: Why do adolescents act so risky? Is adolescent risk taking inherent, or culturally dependent? What can society do to work with high-risk youth? Are all risks bad?
Duell is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Developmental Science and the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She studies adolescent decision making and risk taking. Her previous work examined age differences in risk taking as a function of peoples’ self-regulatory capacities and sensitivity to reward. She has also placed her research in the context of culture, examining risk behavior and its psychological correlates in cross-national samples. Currently, Duell’s research explores positive risk taking in adolescence: what it is, how to measure it, to what extent it benefits adolescents’ well-being, and how it relates to negative risk taking. She has utilized self-report and behavioral indices of psychological functioning and behavior and plans to integrate sociometric and biological (i.e., hormonal and fMRI) methodologies into her future work. Duell has been involved in the data management, data analysis, and publishing for an ongoing cross-national research study, Childhood Risk Factors and Young Adult Competence, which is being conducted in collaboration with Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy.